When I speak with customers or at conferences, I often speak about data trends and applications as input to dimensioning a service and network. These data are being transmitted over a network; and, this fact highlights Cisco’s”Network as the Platform.” Three trends are converging today:1. Entertainment content is collapsing onto a common, digital source Music, film and print are all now just a string of O’s and 1′s.2. We have the global, Internet Protocol network that allows us to distribute and share digital content around the world.3. Finally, with digital content devices are freed from being tied or locked into a single distribution network.We now have phones that act as cameras, newspaper readers and portable music players.This shift fundamentally changes our relationship with entertainment content and empowers us to consume entertainment when, where, and on the device of our choice.Further, Web 2.0 drives greater consumer choice, participation and control as the Internet is now surpassing TV in terms of media usage. When we add applications like interactive gaming, broadcast TV and HDTV MPEG-4, planning and dimensioning the services and underlying network are critical for the Service Provider. Assuring quality of service, security, and implementing overall network management will be pivotal towards service level agreement compliance.These issues are opportunities for the industry as a whole.In the meantime, I will be hosting a plenary panel at the Broadband World Forum in Hong Kong on July 16 2008.Stay tuned for more!
For managed services providers, a combination of market forces for today’s end user businesses have combined to create a ‘tipping point’ that offer a new opportunity for a variety of providers to capitalize on the promise these services. These forces include changes in the business environment which are making customers more receptive to the idea of ‘out-tasking’ specific day-to-day responsibilities so they can focus on their core business and more strategic business initiatives. At the same time, advancements in remote network management technology are also making it possible for xSPs to deliver more robust managed services to a broader set of potential customers.A series of macro-market trends have combined to fundamentally change customer attitudes about managed services, and create a new opportunity for innovative MSPs to deliver differentiated solutions to their customers. Some of these can only be done by an xSP or at least done more efficiently.
- Globalization and e-commerce have opened new opportunities for business expansion, and created new competitive pressures for companies of all sizes, but have created the need for global delivery of services.
- Acceleration of new applications such as mobility has permitted workers to do their jobs anywhere, and created new challenges encouraging employee collaboration and protecting valuable data.
- Escalation of application access, performance and reliability expectations of workers at all times from wherever they are.
- Expectation of cost savings and improved efficiencies for IT delivered as a service.
Did Star Trek foreshadow social and visual networking? Could it actually serve as a bit of a Nostradamus for this and future generations? Stay with me now, because I think yes.. Remember the Vulcan mind meld? It was”a procedure that involved physical contact with a subject (though instances of mind-melds without contact have been seen, according to my trekkie friends -if you ask them they will you about it in great detail…), making it possible to share thoughts, experiences, memories, and knowledge with another individual.” Voila, collaboration of the highest order. And, with the integration of video into this equation, the world of communication and collaboration will be life and business expanding. In a sense, it’s a path to meld the various modes of communication together seamlessly throughout all aspects of our Connected Lives, at home, at work, and on the move.It’s no secret we’re on a path to uber communication and collaboration. First it was text. Then is was two-way communication. Then audio and sound joined along and even video. But, now it’s a mash-up world where visual networking is more than a two-way street. In the oft-cited work by Dr. Paul Lester, attribution is given to educational psychologist Jerome Bruner of New York University for finding that”persons only remember ten percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they read, but about 80 percent of what they see and do.” In other words, seeing is believing and retaining.As a result, visual networking will play an even greater role in the way that we communicate going-forward. And, it will place increasing demands on bandwidth and quality. A truly connected life must ride within an intelligent network that will adapt, expand and prioritize to help realize the full impact that visual networking can offer.
“œAnother X.0 expression”, you say.”How original.”Certainly, the trend du jour is to update a way of doing things and label it with an”X.0″ after most any phrase or expression. But, you know, I’m not ready to abandon the logic for the sake of a new fad that is obtuse or overt”marketing bull.” I really tried to avoid it, REALLY, but for managed services, the taxonomy works rather well. So, here goes-”œManaged services” is one of those terms which has meant many things to many people. The lack of a generally accepted definition of managed service has contributed to its slower than expected growth in the past. The history of managed services can be summarized as:
- Managed Services 1.0: The first generation of managed services in the 1980s consisted of highly customized network outsourcing arrangements designed by the telecommunications carriers to meet the needs of a select group of large-scale corporations.
- Managed Services 2.0: The second generation of managed services emerged in the 1990s when a new class of independent service providers tried to sell remote monitoring services to small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs).
Cisco’s market leadership is no longer the “best kept secret” in managed services. Today, in its inaugural Total Managed WAN (CPE) and Network Based Services Equipment Market Share report, leading research firm Synergy Research Group, outlined vendor market share for managed CPE and network based services in the enterprise, SMB, branch and high end environments. It shows market share by quarter from the first calendar quarter of 2007 through the first calendar quarter of 2008. The results outline Cisco having a 68% market share in total managed WAN (CPE) and network based equipment services revenue for the first quarter of 2008.This report certainly underscores the enormous preference and loyalty shown by successful managed services providers worldwide for Cisco as the partner of choice for their managed services business. As previously announced, the managed services market is growing and offers benefits to business customers and xSps, alike. And, businesses that choose a managed service from a Cisco Powered xSP receive the benefit of experience from the worldwide leader in managed services that is focused on:
- 1. Offering market leadership in IP-based networks and solutions that serve as the foundation for existing and emerging technologies that define the business and end user experience. 2. Engaging with xSPs to understand the market and then to develop resources, technologies, programs and insight that help them envision, build, operate, market and sell managed services.
Certainly, as we look to the growing managed service market, a unique opportunity exists for xSPs to extend their leadership and benefit from the technology and managed services enablement offered by Cisco.